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Franklin Tech stops Athol, closes out win on final drive

  • Mason Barrieau, left, of Athol, runs against Franklin Tech, Friday in Athol. FOR THE ATHOL DAILY NEWS/MIKE PHILLIPS

  • Keegan Lutz, left, of Athol, scores on a 30-yard touchdown against Franklin Tech, Friday in Athol. FOR THE ATHOL DAILY NEWS/MIKE PHILLIPS

  • Mason Barrieau, right, of Athol, runs against Franklin Tech, Friday in Athol. FOR THE ATHOL DAILY NEWS/MIKE PHILLIPS

  • Keegan Lutz, of Athol, runs against Franklin Tech, Friday in Athol. FOR THE ATHOL DAILY NEWS/MIKE PHILLIPS

  • Caleb Cox, of Athol, runs against Franklin Tech, Friday in Athol. FOR THE ATHOL DAILY NEWS/MIKE PHILLIPS

  • Mason Barrieau, left, of Athol, gets tackled by Franklin Tech, Friday in Athol. FOR THE ATHOL DAILY NEWS/MIKE PHILLIPS



Staff Writer
Friday, October 12, 2018

ATHOL — The opportunity was there for the Athol football team in a 16-8 loss to Franklin Tech, Friday night.

With the score tied 8-8 with five minutes left, the Red Raiders (2-4, 1-3 Intercounty North) had the ball at Franklin Tech’s 10-yard line but turned it over on downs.

“We made some critical mistakes at key times,” Athol coach Bill LaRose said. “We can’t have that if we expect to win football games.”

The Eagles (2-4, 1-3) made the most of their last possession, marching 92 yards for the game-winning touchdown.

Quarterback Owen Bashaw took advantage of an aggressive Athol defense with a play-action fake to find Hunter Wozniak for a 30-yard touchdown with 1 minute, 27 seconds left in the game.

“We wanted to put a drive together,” Franklin Tech coach Joe Gamache said. “We had some momentum in our favor and we haven’t won since Week 1. The goal was to get it now.”

Bailey Young (25 carries, 90 yards) was limited for most of the game by Athol, but broke off a big 18-yard run on Franklin Tech’s final drive.

Ian McClure ran well for Franklin Tech with 10 carries for 48 yards.

On the last drive, McClure and Young’s hard running got the Eagles in position to win the game.

“We had success running the ball,” Gamache said. “But time was not in our favor so we decided to take a shot.”

Franklin Tech’s defense took away the big play from Athol’s offense, limiting Mason Barrieau to 12 carries for 46 yards.

Keegan Lutz led Athol with five carries for 67 yards and a touchdown.

Both teams moved the ball effectively, but turnovers, penalties and turnovers on downs kept points off the board for most of the game.

Lutz broke off a 30-yard touchdown late in the half to give Athol an 8-0 lead at halftime.

Young capped off a 50-yard drive to start the second half with a 2-yard touchdown to make it 8-8 midway through the third quarter.

Donte Rosewarne and Kayani Rodriguez had interceptions for Franklin Tech.

Joe Gray had an sack for Athol and Riley Paine picked up a Young fumble. Christian Casillas was all over the field for Athol’s defense with 10 tackles.

Caleb Cox had a strong start for Athol at quarterback, but tailed off. He finished 9-for-19 for 100 yards with a couple interceptions.